While on my mission I can be contacted at ashley.lynch@myldsmail.net

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Eat Uncomfortable for Breakfast!



This week has been fantastic! Full of great days, not so enjoyable things and lots of awkwardness as usual. There were many times this week we walked up onto people's porches who really did not want to talk to us, or stood there awkwardly on the sidewalk waiting for people to finish their conversations so we could tell them about the gospel. It's just too important not to talk to everyone, no matter how awkward it is! (That's something I have to just keep telling myself, so maybe someday it won't be so hard) it always makes for good laughs. We were laughing very hard on exchanges when we were a visiting someone they had met previously, but she was sick, so we asked her little sister who had answered the door when we could come back. She went to ask and sheepishly came to the door and said, "She said...umm....she said never." Poor kid, having to relay that message. Haha

We got to do service this week! I'm convinced that when I come home I will be a professional painter! Well, I will really enjoy it at least!
 
 
As a lot of you have noticed, our mission has been approved to use Facebook for proselyting! There is still a lot to learn with it and it will take a little bit to get used to it, but we have seen some great miracles from it already! The biggest one was earlier this week. An Elder who used to serve here previous called us and was very excited to tell us that he had made contact with someone who was baptized in the Sidney ward. That doesn't seem like a huge thing, except that shortly after her baptism her family moved and all contact with her was lost. He found her on Facebook and was able to talk to her, got her address and we were able to meet with her this week! Definitely a miracle!

Something else that was really cool, that pushed me out of my comfort zone, was when the Chorister wasn't able to come to church yesterday and they asked me to conduct the music in Sacrament meeting! I definitely do not like getting up in front of that many people, but it was a lot of fun. And good practice for when I have to get up and give a talk next week!

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Just keep smiling!
 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Lay Hold Upon Every Good Thing


Found a wall that matched me :)
Something that really stuck out to me from my studies this week comes from Moroni in the Book of Mormon.
Moroni 7
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ

This week there weren't any exceptional miracles or experiences, but we met a lot of wonderful people, did a lot of good, and were able to testify a lot of Jesus Christ. Not every day in our lives may be exceptional, there are very few that will be. I know that if we follow this counsel and are diligent in our search for those simple things that are wholesome and good then we will be able to find joy, because all good things come from God. Here are some of those simple joys we experienced this week!

I love you all! Just keep smiling!

Celebrating my Birthday!!
Being in good company :) Ward Members

Being in good company :) Ward Members

Being in good company :) Ward Members

Our Sisters



Playing sports with our district!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Gospel's True and Made For Me and You!

This week has been a long one! But still great like always :) We have done a lot of knocking on doors though and met a lot of cool people! I have had a lot of practice initiating conversation and talking to new people, it has been great! This week my testimony has grown so much on how the gospel fits so perfectly in peoples lives. The gospel is true and it's made for me and you! There is just so much peace that comes from the truths of Christ's gospel, and such a blessing to be able to bring those to others.

Highlight of the week was getting to go to the temple today! I love being able to go to the Lord's house and getting to take in the most special spirit there. It is such a blessing, for us and those that have passed on before us, that He has made temples such an integral part of His plan. I would encourage each of you to go to the temple often, take advantage of this wonderful blessing!
 
 
There is a scripture that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Helaman 3:35
"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
As we yield our hearts to God by doing those little things everyday, like reading our scriptures and praying, we will grow in our humility and therefore become stronger by relying on our Father. I have seen this promise fulfilled so many times and I am grateful for it!
I love you all! Just keep smiling!
 
Funny things we see knocking on doors!
 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Miracles!


Our friend who followed us for an hour

There were a few awesome miracles this week!
First, there is a couple we teach named the Noels. It has been really cool to see their hearts soften over time and they have been a lot more receptive lately, but the wife still struggles because she wasn't really certain she knew who God was and especially didn't know that He is her father. Well the other day we had a lesson and she was very excited to tell us about an experience she had. Her family had hit a very unexpected, very sudden trial and they didn't know what they were going to do. She told us that she prayer so sincerely, that she gave everything she had and just let go. The next day they saw an almost immediate solution to their problem. She was in tears and told us that she had no doubts that God is there, that He heard her prayers and that He is her loving Father. She said it's still hard because everything is very new to her, but she is ready to move forward. I cannot express to you how amazing it is to see God's hand in people's lives and how a single experience can change everything. This truly is His work.

Another crazy miracle was meeting Bonnie. We were out of our area that morning doing service and left a little later than planned. As we were going to our car we waved at this woman down the street and said hello, but that's all we were going to do because we were out of our proselyting area. Before we crossed the street though she called out to us and asked "Are you church ladies?!" We went and talked to her and she told us of her incredible experience finding us. She said God had told her that morning to go an walk, He said she would meet two ladies today that would pray for her. So she said ok and started walking, He directed her to what streets she needed to go down and before long she saw us walk out of the building and said our faces shone. She knew it was us she was supposed to talk to. It is amazing how God guides us if only we are willing to listen. There was a reason we were there that morning and that we left later than planned, and if Bonnie wasn't listening she wouldn't have found us. Bonnie actually lives in our area and we have met with her a few times since. It is amazing the changes she is experiencing and peace she is finding in just this short time.

It is so evident to me this week just how involved our Heavenly Father is in our lives. If you have faith and just let go you can have the confidence of Nephi and, like him, say, "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." Our Father will always be there to lead us if we have trust and let him. 
I hope you all remember that as you go about your week, make it a good one. Just keep smiling! :)
 
Mission Activity
It was pouring but we killed it at Tug of War

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hello again, Hilliard

Despite what the title may make you think, I did not get transferred. Sister Asay and I will be staying in Piqua. I am so excited for this transfer!

We did go back to Hilliard for a quick visit though, which is about an hour and a half away from where I am currently serving. BUT it could not have been more worth it! You may remember me talking about the amazing couple Rachel and Daniel from Hilliard. If you don't, Sister Speakman and I met Rachel walking her dog outside her apartment and things flew from there! She just soaked everything in and Daniel was a little more skeptical but was diligent in learning  everything for himself. I am so grateful that I got to be a part of their beginning and have grown to love them so much, they are absolutely wonderful. I was sad when I got transferred that I couldn't be an active part in their journey anymore, but the wonderful Sister Speakman kept me updated the whole time. And guess what! They got married Friday night and then I got to come see them be baptized Saturday night! The spirit was so strong there and filled me up. It was such a blessing and an honor to be able to attend and watch them make these essential covenants with their Heavenly Father. So many exciting things happening for them and it just brings me true joy that they are starting their journey in the gospel together and have their sights on the temple! 
 

Sorry I don't have much else to tell you, it has been just a short time since I last wrote. I do want to leave you with my testimony of service. We have had the opportunity to do a lot of service lately: working in a clothing bank, doing yard work, random acts of kindness, being a light to those around us, and of course performing the service of sharing the blessings of the Restored Gospel with our brothers and sisters. Us rendering service is a way we can show our Heavenly Father our gratitude for everything we have been given. I am truly grateful to have this time in my life set apart completely for the service of others because service brings joy. It's what makes the world a better place. It is my prayer that we each look for those opportunities to serve those around us, because they are always there. 
Mosiah 2:17
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go



This week has been a huge testament to me that God make sure we are exactly where he needs us to be.
We met many wonderful people this week, like a man named Larry. We were knocking on this street one morning and we both got this feeling that it's not where we were supposed to be. So we went to a different road we had been wanting to go to and behind one of the first doors we knocked on was Larry. He just recently lost his wife and is searching for comfort, and it turns out that some of his wife's family are members of our ward and actually invited his to attend church recently. We are meeting with him again later this week which surprised his family,  but it is incredible how God prepares people in ways we don't expect.
We also met a woman who was out on her porch who met missionaries and read from the Book of Mormon about 30 years ago! How incredible is that, especially since she would like to meet with us.

We met a man recently who we first had contact with when we were walking down this road and he stopped to make sure our car wasn't broken down or something. Then we saw him again later and actually got to talk with him about the gospel  and it was really cool. The funniest part though is when the next day we met this woman who asked us where we had been yesterday morning, when we told her she informed us that we had met her son! They are not ready yet, but I know that God needed us to have contact with that family for some reason.

Last night we were about to go in for the night and before we did we felt we needed to go talk to a woman sitting out on her porch. She told us how her and her mother have been looking for a church to go to. Then she said she wanted to get baptized and since she doesn't have an extensive background in religion she wants to have someone that will start basic and teach her. Ma'am that's why we are here! It was so incredible.

One of the coolest things was meeting James. We were just walking down the street and he was sitting on the porch. We waved and instead of keeping on to where we were going, we stopped and I am so glad we did. He doesn't have a knowledge of God being his Father, he experiences a lot of emotional turmoil and simply lacks hope in his life. We are just in the beginning of his journey, but we have already seen him feel the spirit and the love of his Father, feel the power of the Book of Mormon, and start to find those glimmers of hope. I love being a missionary!

I want to leave you with my testimony that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has a very specific plan for each of us. That simple but profound truth is what kept me moving forward this week. He knows us individually and perfectly and desires for us to know Him too. I am grateful for prayer and the peace it brings, that it is a way we can feel of His love. If there is anything you are struggling with, need answers for, or just need to know that someone is there for you, I would advise you to get on your knees and offer a heartfelt prayer prayer. I promise that as we humbly listen He will always answer.

I love you all, just keep smiling!
 

 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Whatever the Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve

Oh what a week! We had Zone Conference filled with great insights and lessons. So many things were simply inspiration to give the Lord our best. The title of my post today is a quote that President Stratford lives by and has asked that we adopt as a mission. I know that great things can happen when we show the Lord we are willing and give him our all. A key part of that though is recognizing the Lord, yes we can achieve anything, but only with the Lord's help. We talked a lot about humility and turning our will over to God and Sister Stratford presented a few simple statements: I can't, He can, I think I'll let Him. I know that when we turn ourselves over to God and rely on his strength to do what would otherwise be impossible for us, miracles can happen.

Lately we have been exhausted, so we must be doing something right. I wish I knew how many miles we walked the other day, because that's literally all we did. It was awesome. Especially walking back to our car at the end of the night when it started pouring. We were so soaked! But still smiling and having a blast of course.

Saturday morning we also spent a ton of time on our feet. We and the Elders were invited by a member in our ward to share his booth at the farmers market. We made a poster and set up our booth all about family history. I was excited about the concept, but the execution scared me out of my mind. But I applied the principles I have shared with you from zone conference and the Lord was able to give me strength beyond my own and worked the miracle of me being able to talk to many people. It actually turned out to be a lot of fun and we did a lot of good.



The week ended in the greatest way possible, with a baptism! A family that the Elders have been teaching entered the waters of baptism this weekend. The greatest part was being able to spend a lot of time with the mom helping her and above all watching her witness her sons being baptized. There were so many emotions and the spirit was so thick. It was an incredible experience!

Apparently this week's theme is relying on the Lord. Something I wanted to share with you from my study of the Savior comes from John 16
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Christ is the founder of our peace. We have no reason to fear because he has overcome the world, so through him we can overcome anything that comes our way. I know that Jesus Christ is real and that he is our Savior. He is the source of our peace in this life and our hope for the life to come.

I love you all, just keep smiling!